After a two-month absence, here's a disgusting way to install a set of packages on a RHEL/CentOS machine.

This might be useful where you're concerned that simply installing $package would actually bring in $package.(x86_64|i386). For example, subversion and curl are packages that display this behaviour.

This not-quite-1-liner isn't suitable for a large package set, or where there might be problems during install. I'm only using it to get a standard set of (relatively simple and decoupled) packages onto machines of variable age (RHEL/CentOS 5.x) that aren't under Configuration Management for one reason or another.

PKG="wget ntp openssh-server acl at bc bind-utils bzip2 crontabs curl
irqbalance jwhois logrotate lsof lynx man man-pages mlocate perl psacct
rsync subversion sudo telnet traceroute unzip vim-enhanced vixie-cron
which words zip";

yum install -y $(echo $PKG | sed -r "s/([-a-zA-Z0-9_+]+)/\1."$(uname \
-m)"/g") | grep "^No package" | sed -r "s/No package (.+)\."$(uname \
-m)" available\./\1/" | xargs -r yum --quiet -y install &>/dev/null

chkconfig gpm off # Damn vim-enhanced ...

As I said: disgusting. Oh well.